8 years ago

Volume 16 Issue 6 - March 2011

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • April
  • Jazz
  • Faculty
  • Ontario
  • Western
  • Symphony
  • Musical
  • Concerts
  • Orchestra

College Chapel, in

College Chapel, in Scaramella’s “Fiddle Me This,” as three bowedinstruments are showcased – the Swedish nyckelharpa, the hurdygurdy and the viola da gamba. There’ll be a mix of folk-inspiredmusic and music coming from the high art tradition, especiallypieces associated with the 17 th century Swedish Queen Kristina. Ofspecial interest: a newly-composed piece for these three featuredinstruments, by hurdy gurdy and percussion player Ben Grossman.Church of Our Lady Immaculate in Guelph is the location ofTactus Vocal Ensemble’s concert “Il Mio Sole” on March 12. Withorganist Christian Teeuwsen, this eight-voice ensemble will performworks by Allegri, Marenzio, Monteverdi, Palestrina and Sanders.In Kitchener on March 13, Nota Bene Period Orchestra takesyou back to “Bach’s Leipzig,” presenting music by Bach and hiscontemporaries including Telemann, Kuhnau and Rosenmüller.The trip is further enhanced with a slide show of Leipzig’s historicbeauty and maybe even a little strudel.With music ranging from restoration London to 21st centuryToronto, Music at Metropolitan presents “Shakespeare in theCity” on March 26 – a cross-cultural jam session on the lyricsof Shakespeare featuring singers, dancers and instrumentalistsincluding composer/saxophonist Daniel Rubinoff and composer/theorbist (and The WholeNote’s choral columnist) Benjamin Stein.On March 27, there’s a unique opportunity to celebrate theAge of the Enlightenment and its legacy with music, talks andreadings of inspiring historical texts. Amnesty International and theWindermere String Quartet present “The Age of Enlightenment andHuman Rights.” String quartets by Mozart and Beethoven will beperformed on period instruments, and the location is First UnitarianCongregation.THIS JUST IN: In the wake of the exciting news reported lastmonth, of Aisslinn Nosky’s appointment as concertmaster of theprestigious Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, a solo violinrecital arises. Nosky will perform three works: Bach’s Partita No.3 in E Major (a very famous and joyful work); Ysaÿe’s second solosonata ”Obsession” (a work “obsessed” with both the above Partitaand the Dies Irae); and the world premiere of Stand Still, a newcommissioned work by Michael Oesterle. Presented by I Furiosi,“The Good, The Baroque and The Ugly” takes place on April 2at Church of St. Mary Magdalene. A recital “not for the faint ofheart,” Nosky says, and this is certain; but I think it must also be acelebration of hope and joy in the prospect of a bright future. Simone Desilets is a long-time contributor to The WholeNote inseveral capacities, who plays the viola da gamba. She can becontacted at andInnovationsBEN STEINLast month I devoted a column to a discussion of Bach’s choralmusic, works that have probably become as central to theEuropean choral canon as anything one can think of. Thismonth, for contrast, I’ll write about lesser known and/or modernworks being performed in March and April, and of choral endeavoursthat have sprung from other traditions as well. What follows isonly a few of many excellent concerts this month – please consultthe listings for more choices.The baroqueFrench composerFrançois Couperin(1668-1733) hastraditionally beenknown for his innovativeharpsichordcompositions, andkeyboard works oflater composers. Inrecent years musicianshave been investigatinghis vocalworks. While thereare good recordingsof Couperin’s choralmusic available,concerts of it areVictoria Scholars, seen here at theRichard Bradshaw Amphitheatre,perform Couperin March 6.rare in this area. We have a chance to hear one of his early works,the Messe a l’usage ordinaire des paroisses (mass for regular parishuse) performed by the Victoria Scholars on March 6. Belying itssomewhat lumpish utilitarian title, it has the dancing rhythms typicalof French choral music of this era.Another composer better known for his keyboard works thanchoral music is 19th century German Josef Rheinberger. In recentyears, the Lyrica Chamber Choir of Barrie has made a project ofPHOTO CHRIS HUTCHESON“The future of music will be secure as long as musicians with the originality, power and skill of NEXUS continue to exist.”— Robert Harris, Globe and Mail, 2010NEXUS: Night RideWITH SPECIAL GUEST David Kent, timpani & percussionSaturday, March 12th at 7:30pm | Glenn Gould StudioTickets , Seniors , Students Call 416-872-4255 or online at www.roythomson.comor visit the Roy Thomson Hall Box OfficeBob Becker, Bill Cahn, Russell Hartenberger & Garry Kvistad mark NEXUS’ 40th Anniversary season with anotherground-breaking performance featuring special guest Toronto Symphony Orchestra timpanist David Kentin music by Cahn, Carter, Ichiyanagi, Philidor & Vivier.www.nexuspercussion.com14 thewholenote.comMarch 1 - April 7, 2011

eviving Rheinberger’s work. On March 26, they perform his MissaBrevis Op.117.I’ve known choral conductor Ron Cheung since we were youngtenors in the Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir, in the years whenit was conducted by choral wild man Robert Cooper. Ron foundedthe Voices Choir in 1996. In celebration of Ron’s 20th year of choralconducting and Voices’ 15th year in existence, they are presentinga programme on April 2 that includes Robert Schumann’s very rarelate period setting of the Requiem text. It is not a work I know at all,but the inevitable “net search” reveals that it clearly has its champions.Schumann fans and others curious about his quirky, dynamicmusic might well want to give it a listen, especially performed live.While the classical music world’s focus on the music of pastcenturies is often seen as conservative and unadventuresome, deeperinvestigation into neglected areas of musical history has resultedin the rediscovery and rehabilitation of female composers of pastcenturies. In honour of the centenary of International Women’s Dayon March 8, St. Catharine’s “Primavera Concerts” are presentingan all day series of three separate concerts on March 5. Along withmusic by composers from earlier times – Hildegard von Bingenand the amazing Barbara Strozzi – the excellent Oriana Women’sChoir will perform works by Canadian choral heroes Ruth WatsonHenderson and Eleanor Daley. These two composers constitutea genuine Canadian tradition of their own, and their works haveanchored many a concert in this part of the world (including theVoices concert mentioned above).Canadian Men’s Chorus presentsThe ClassicsClassic texts and melodies by Willan, Schubert,Walt Whitman, Gounod, Hatfield and more.Also the premieres of composer Avalon Rusk’s settings ofShelley’s “Ozymandias” and Frost’s “Two Roads”.Wednesday, March 23, 2011 8PMGlenn Gould Studio250 Front St. W. TorontoArtistic Director, Greg Rainvillethe Roy Thomson Hall Box Office416-872-4255 or online:www.canadianmenschorus.caKaren Burke’s Toronto Mass Choir powers up.I had the pleasure to participate in a choral event in Decemberat which the Toronto Mass Choir performed. Many choirs makepleasant sounding music in a pleasant manner. The Toronto MassChoir is the kind of group that arrests your attention with theirexuberance and rhythmic drive. Choirs steeped in Europeantraditions often stumble when executing gospel music. Two commonelements of gospel performance are memorization and physicalmovement, the precise opposite of what most choirs are accustomedto. Freeing one’s hands of the necessity to hold a music folderallows singers to sway and clap on the off–beat. These elements arereally not just options with gospel – they’re often as necessary to itsperformance tradition as agile coloratura is to Handel and Mozart.Choirs can often be bribed to memorize music with extrafor many groups – a basic shift in weight from one foot to the othercan be enough to cause the pitch to drop and the tempo to drag. Thiskind of movement has to be built into the practice of the music fromis plain to see – a choir that programs a choral concert will likelybe in better shape that season than ever before. Choirs interested ininnovative marketing strategies might well consider the appeal ofa sweat. But I digress.For choral musicians interested in getting their gospel chops inshape, Toronto Mass Choir and its dynamic director, Karen Burke,March 1 - April 7, 2010 15

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